General English


  • noun a substance sold in very large quantities, e.g. raw materials or foodstuffs such as corn, rice, butter


  • noun something sold in very large quantities, especially raw materials and food such as metals or corn. Commodities are either traded for immediate delivery (as ‘actuals’ or ‘physicals’), or for delivery in the future (as ‘futures’). Commodity markets deal either in metals (aluminium, copper, lead, nickel, silver, zinc) or in ‘soft’ items, such as cocoa, coffee, sugar and oil. In London, the exchanges are the London Metal exchange and the London Commodity Exchange. gold is traded on the London Gold market, petroleum on the international Petroleum Exchange (IPE). In the USA, the New York Commodity Exchange (COMEX) deals in metals, the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) in metals, soft commodities and financial futures, and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) in livestock and livestock futures.


  • (written as Commodity)
    A good that is supplied to the market without differentiation based on brand, source, or other factors. While manufactured goods such as automobiles vary by maker and type and are not interchangeable, units of commodities such as crude oil, wheat, or copper are considered essentially the same for market purposes.